Who is Roman Dudin? Zelensky Sacks Kharkiv Security Chief; Russia Tightens Grip Around Donbas

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky fired the security chief of Kharkiv after making a visit to the besieged city.

Zelensky, who made his first trip outside Kyiv on Sunday after the start of the war with Russia, said the northeastern city's security chief did not work to defend the city.

Not Working to Defend City

"I figured out the situation. I fired the head of the SBU office in the region because he was not working to defend the city from the first days of the full-scale war ... He was only thinking about himself. Law enforcement officers will find out what his motives were," Zelensky said in a public rebuke.

Kharkiv Carpet Bombed
Bombs being dropped on Kharkiv on Monday Twitter

Zelensky visited Kharkiv after reports said last week the key city close to the Russian border had started pushing back Russian soldiers from some city quarters. Though Russia had made inroads into Kharkiv in the first few weeks of the war, Ukraine has said it has been able to reclaim about 5 percent for the areas taken over by Russia.

Screen grab of deepfake video of Zelenskyy
Screen grab of deepfake video of Zelenskyy Twitter

More 30% of Kharkiv in Russian Control

As per Kyiv's own calculation, more than 30 percent of the city is under the control of the Russians. Zelensky vowed he will fight to reclaim the entire region from from the Russians. "We will for sure liberate the entire area .. We are doing everything we can to contain this offensive," he said.

The Ukraine president did not name the officer who was fired, but Ukrainian media identified him as Roman Dudin, the head of the Kharkiv region's SBU security service, according to Agence France-Presse.

In a much publicized visit to Kharkiv Zelensky was seen wearing a bullet-proof vest even as he surveyed the buildings in Kharkiv that were destroyed. Significantly, the visit came a day before the Ukraine leader was to address European leaders over a video link. Zelensky is expected to seek more assistance from the European leaders as well as tougher sanctions against Russia.

Ukraine Kindergarten
Damaged after the shelling at the kindergarten in Luhansk region Twitter

Hours after Zelensky's widely publicized visit to Kharkiv, Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered renewed strikes in and around Kharkiv.

Russia also intensified attacks in cities across the Luhansk region. Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov has said the liberation of the eastern Donbas region is an "unconditional priority" for Moscow.